Clearing Our Lenses // Peter Watts
I have met a number of Christians over the last twenty years who have become disillusioned. They have experienced many…unfortunate realities…and it has cast doubt on their faith in Jesus and spirituality altogether. They were so let down and disappointed by other Christians (sometimes their own pastors and other spiritual mentors), who lived very disingenuous lives, that they assumed everything “Christian” or “church related” must go from their lives, including Jesus.
Maybe this has happened to you.
I too have been let down in the past by Christians—at times pastors, at times friends, at times even by family and relatives. While I do not want to dismiss our experiences, nor downplay the actual events in church or outside church that lead toward feeling disappointed, I want to suggest that tossing everything spiritual out the door (while understandable) doesn’t need to be your only option.
Imperfect broken people disappointed you, and imperfect broken people acted phony.
It’s easy to put the blame on someone, isn’t it? For many people, churched or unchurched, it’s easy to blame God (or “religion”) for all the world’s problems. You’ve probably heard it said before, “If God exists, why would God allow this to happen?” Or how about, “If God exists, why would he make the most important things in life to be so difficult and challenging?” And, “If God exists, these kinds of things would not happen, so God must not exist.”
Perhaps you’ve said or thought these same things. Perhaps you still think them today.
My simple encouragement is to consider the possibility that those who claim to be Christians—who have confused, hurt, and disappointed you (even ticked you off)—don’t have to dictate whether or not Jesus or the life available in him are phony.
Perhaps the Jesus you always wanted to believe in not only exists but is worth trusting and believing in still.
Perhaps you may just find that if you consider Jesus again and the life that he offers (from a new angle) that new possibilities will open up for you.
Your vision may become clearer.
A healthier way of being human may come into view. A way that invites and pursues authenticity may begin to form in you rather than the disingenuous existence that enslaves so many of us.
A way of being Christian that is honest and true, transparent and humble.
A way of following Jesus that actively cares for this world and the people in it.
So please, stay long enough in this journey of faith to see another possibility.
You may be surprised at what’s just around the corner.
Praise for Authentic Christianity:
“In this book (Watts) warns us against the tendency of mirroring the common patterns of our surrounding culture with its play-acting and self-made man ideologies and behaviors. All the while, he encouraging us to pursue a life of authenticity and honesty during the journey of following Jesus.”
“For giving his readers an eye-opening perspective reading experience regarding what authentic Christianity is and what it takes to become an authentic Christian, which is enhanced by the reading and discussion guide that is included at the end of each chapter; this reviewer … is delighted to give the author, Peter Watts, 5 STARS for his endeavor here.”
About the Author
Peter Watts is a teacher, blogger, and follower of Jesus. He earned a bachelor’s degree in biblical studies with an emphasis in pastoral ministry from Life Pacific College, and he later earned a master’s degree focused on teaching the social sciences from George Fox University.
Watts’ passion for Christ has led him to serve Christian churches in various capacities, including youth ministry, teaching, internships, small group leadership, and behind-the-scenes work. He particularly enjoys studying the historical Jesus and discussing faith in a modern context.